Mauritius is a beautiful and diverse island and one of the places I really didn’t want to leave.
I spent a few weeks doing volunteer work in Mauritius and felt I could easily make this island my home. But, I had already booked my return ticket and further travel plans had already been made so I left and I haven’t been back since.
That is why I particularly liked doing this interview with Julz who, like myself, has lived all over the world, and now calls this intriguing island home…
In the Ask an Expat series I interview people living all over the world but outside of their home country. I try to help paint an honest picture of the ups and downs of life abroad, share tips for anyone thinking about moving abroad and information about what to see and do in the city, town or country the expat now calls home.
Expat life in Mauritius
Location: Mauritius, a small island east of Madagascar
Home town: “haha I don’t know. Naerum, Denmark (I suppose) or Callas, France! I am a bit torn here”
“I consider myself a ‘serial expat’. I moved for the first time when I was 5 when my parents decided to become expats. I don’t think they ever thought about what kind of impact that small move from Denmark to France would have on their youngest daughter! Ever since I was little I have loved to travel and go to places I had never been.
At 19 I started hotel school and that opened a door to travels I never knew existed. Moving often is not for everyone, but for people like me, the thought of settling down, is actually ‘unsettling’.
I knew nothing of Mauritius when I first met my then boyfriend in hotel school back in 1997. He invited me to visit his island, Mauritius, and really it was love at first sight. We talked many times about ‘moving back’ but it was always something for later. Now, after 20 years of being expats, we are in Mauritius and we know that Mauritius is home. But, we also know that we are probably not back to stay for good, this time around.
Mauritius is a very welcoming island. Not everything is perfect, that’s for sure, but life is just so much easier when the sun is shining!”
“Because of my husband’s work we tend to move every 2-3 years. This move was a bit different as I actually moved to Mauritius so the kids could start school and my husband just happened to get a job 6 months later. It was an obvious choice for me. I feel as much at home here as I do in Denmark, where I was born or France, where I grew up.”
What do you like about Mauritius?
“I like most things about Mauritius! The nature is beautiful and the Mauritians charming and helpful. In Creole we say that ‘la vie est douce à Maurice’: Life is sweet in Mauritius, and it is true. Life is easy here, in most ways.”
What do you dislike about Mauritius?
“Traffic can be tough. But that is only a problem if you drive daily on the island. The roads aren’t great and because of that it takes a lot of time to get from one place to another.”
What is your favorite thing to do in Mauritius?
“That’s a hard one! so I am going to answer very broadly and say: enjoy nature! I love the outdoor life here. Hikes, swims, walks on the beach.”
What is your favorite place to hang out (restaurant, bar, etc) in Mauritius?
“My favourite hotel is the Long Beach Resort. We live not far from it and I love going there for a drink with friends or to enjoy their ‘adults only’ infinity pool. Their Japanese restaurant is amazing as well.”
What is the expat community like in Mauritius?
“Very diverse. My expat friends are South African, French, British, Taiwanese. I also know many Mauritians, especially through school.”
Any tips for moving to / living in Mauritius?
“There are 2 tips I would like to give:
- Live close to your work place / your child’s school. Even if it is cheaper to choose a house a little further out, 2-3km in the morning can easily add an extra 15min to your commute. In the beginning you won’t mind, but after you have settled in you will want to move!
- Choose to live in a complex. Security is no more of an issue here than anywhere else in the world, but it is just better in my opinion. And, it is often also easier to meet locals and other expats here.”
Any resources you found useful during the process of moving to and/or building a new life in Mauritius?
“I have been coming to Mauritius for 20 years and I got to know the island with my Mauritian husband so I haven’t really used any. But there are a few groups on Facebook that can be helpful.”
Is there something you just have to see or do when you are in Mauritius?
“I think there are many things you need to check out if you come here. Black River in the South East is beautiful and Ile aux Cerfs on the east coast is amazing. I love the holiday feeling of the North of the island and if you are in to street food, then Port Louis is really worth it!”
Julz has seen so much of the world. Living in countries ranging from Denmark to the Maldives she has a lot of stories to share! On her blog Wandering Expat Family you can follow her adventures, read more about Mauritius and about many other destinations.
The Republic of Mauritius is a small, multi-cultural island nation in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. It is a volcanic island with lush, green mountains, great lagoons, palm-fringed beaches and beautiful coral reefs.
Tourists love Mauritius because of its tropical climate, gorgeous beaches and watersports. The great selection of upmarket resorts has also made it into a popular honeymoon destination.
Mauritius is more than just that tropical island out of a travel magazine though. It is a densely populated island with a reputation for stability and racial harmony among its mixed population. Mauritius is known as a plural society where all the ethnic groups are present. Hindus, Muslims, Creoles, Chinese and Europeans live in relative peace and seem to respect each others cultures. This makes Mauritius into a truly unique place and the Mauritians, known for their tolerance and kindness, will surely make you feel welcome!
Tip: if you are looking for a hotel in Mauritius, no matter what your budget is, check out Hotelscombined.com
And, because it seems impossible to show you what Mauritius is really like with just a single picture and a few words, check out this video to see what this beautiful island has to offer!
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Featured image by Tejcoomar Luchman